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First citizen science collaboration between SeaTrek Sailing Adventures and Indigo V a huge success

September 21, 2018 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Boutique small ship cruise operator, SeaTrek Sailing Adventures has successfully completed their inaugural citizen science cruise through eastern Indonesia in their latest effort to play an active role in reducing global plastic pollution.

To do this, they partnered with Indigo V Expeditions, a not-for-profit organisation that encourages citizen science through boat owners to sample for microplastics out on the ocean as part of a worldwide programme to identify both the amount of plastic in the ocean and the footprint of the polluters themselves.

On September 1, passengers and crew boarded the Ombak Putih, one of SeaTrek’s UNESCO heritage style pinisi boats, to experience the 12-day Seabirds, Cetaceans and Spices cruise.

However, this particular departure was significant because it was the very first time that SeaTrek Sailing Adventures was able to put Indigo V’s machines on the water to start collecting and testing microplastics while they sailed.

Throughout the 12-day cruise, they conducted a total of five samples and guests had the opportunity to participate in all parts of the process. This included setting up the machine in the ocean which pumped 50 litres of seawater, analysing particles picked up by the filter under a special microscope and capturing images to send off to Indigo V’s headquarters for further examination.

“Plastics are a huge concern to all of us now, so seeing that SeaTrek is getting involved in a worldwide initiative to be actually doing something about it, and sharing it with us, their guests, was kind of empowering,” said Sandra Travers (passenger from New Zealand). “Watching the crew doing the testing and then seeing what was under the microscope up on the screen was fascinating, and it made us feel like we were part of something positive.”

Fortunately, this first round of testing showed positive results, indicating that SeaTrek’s route through the open ocean of the Banda Sea is relatively plastic free. They did detect some unknown matter when passing through ports in some built-up areas which they have sent off to Indigo V for further testing. SeaTrek looks forward to collecting and comparing more data across the many different locations they visit throughout eastern Indonesia.

Since returning from the successful voyage, SeaTrek has committed to testing for microplastics on every departure going forward. The company is excited to continue bringing their passion for healthier seas to the forefront of operations and now, to the guest experience as well.

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